Soil preparation?

I’d like to know if it’s necessary to sterilize soil before planting in it. I had read that this could be done gently heating in an oven or simply spreading soil out on say a black tarp and allowing it to bask in the sun a day or so.
I appreciate it.

Depends on if you buy soil or are using some compost etc. most don’t sterilize there’s because it’s a pain in the butt and your house and oven will smell like shit.

If you sterilize it why use it. The whole point of soil is the decomposing properties of it. Which means mold, fungus, bugs. As long as there in the soil who cares. I put out glue traps for flies from the soil and although there are 10-20 on them any given time I don’t ever see one flying. So idc.

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You’re confusing a process known as ‘cooking’ your soil or compost because it’s too hot to use immediately, as is. The term really ought to be “curing” but it’s called baking; and it’s a process of leaving it the sun or even just letting it sit in a pile and essentially compost a bit more. It does NOT mean putting it in an oven and literally cookin it; which would kill all the beneficial microbes and ruin the soil. If you’re using bagged soil, you don’t need to worry about any of this. Unless you’re mixing up a very powerful super soil with lots of dry amendments or some fresh manure, you don’t need to worry about baking.

If you want a sterile medium to grow in, so that the only nutrients available to your plant are what you feed it, grow in coco coir. No sense in ruining some awesome soil in your oven when you can buy coco cheaper and not have to mess with your oven. Personally, I like growing in soil. I think it makes for more flavorful medicine. I amend mine quite a bit and use it immediately - with no issues.

Hope this clears things up for you.


I really appreciate your reply. Yes that clears up my concerns. I looked for an organic potting soil that didn’t have the long acting nutrients (hope I’m saying that right). My options were limited to what Lowes carries.
The grow I’m doing at this time is kind of a trial run using some extremely cheap seeds (probably from China). I didn’t want to have expensive seeds dying off because I missed some detail. Hopefully in the next week I’ll make an order for some autoflower seeds. I’ve been really considering the White Widow autos.
Again thanks for the reply.

I’m actually relieved to get all of your replies because I really didn’t want to deal with one more hassle with growing.
Thanks to you all for the replies.

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No problem! I’ll tell you, though, the genetics of the seeds can make a real difference in the ease of your grow. I definitely understand the idea behind wanting to learn with ‘cheap’ stuff but with this game quality makes things MUCH easier. Good genetics are typically easier to grow than bad ones. Good equipment makes growing easier than cruddy equipment. Quality nutrients (whether liquid or soil amendments) are easier to grow with than crappy ones. You can do just fine with soil from Lowe’s but you might think about investing in some really good genetics. I’ve been having great lunch with some of the big breeders like Dinafem, Dutch Passion, Barney’s Farm, etc. but there are some smaller breeders out there with remarkably good genetics like New420Guy seeds (google it) that are incredibly affordable. I got some Super Dense Autos from them that are the easiest growing plants I’ve tried and very quick shipping - just a couple days. Also, I just saw a thread with some amazing photosensitive plant’s outdoors from Canuck seeds and they’re having a 50% off sale until the end of September - I’m DEFINITELY going to try the blueberry, C99 and the northern lights! Can’t pass them up at that price! Just a little FYI to help you out.


Dtom420… I really appreciate that eye opener. I checked out the new420 site and can’t believe the prices compared to what I was about to fork over. Now that leaves me with a choice issue. Maybe you can advise me on that too. I’m looking for an autoflower that I can grow indoors, I’m looking to be able to use this for medical purposes (chronic pain, low energy, just to name a few). It would be nice if it were easy ot grow, quick and as far as yield I not looking for anything massive. It seems each web site I look at have different names for their seeds. I never knew there were so many different strains.
Again I appreciate the help.

Fastbuds has some great autos. I’ve tried 5 different strains from them (currently growing my 6th fastbud strain, now).


I love Fast Buds! Forgot to mention them! Thanks for the reminder Ms Betty! I’ve got some of their green crack auto seeds I’m planning to pop soon. How’s things up in AK?

@Lightbender - aside from New420Guy’s seeds, you can get all the breeders I mentioned, and many more, through I love them because you can order multiple breeders’ genetics but only have one shipping charge and they throw in lots of freebies! :wink::+1:

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Any strain can be grown indoors. Do you want/need a strong THC level or do you prefer a lower THC level? If the ‘high’ is secondary to the effect of CBD, look for the strains that show/advertise higher levels of CBD. One option I’m going to try for my wife is high CBD strain that has VERY low levels of CBD. Dutch Passion and CBD Crew make some easy to grow strains like that. Dutch Passion breeds a Charlotte’s Angel auto that’s less than 1% THC but has 16% CBD and is easy to grow. I have some on order from Seedsman. CBD Crew breeds 1:1 THC to CBD strains Mango Haze auto and Nordle CBD Auto that’re available right now at Seedsman.

Like I said, those Paul’s Super Dense Auto from New420Guy are EASY to grow. I haven’t smoked them myself, yet, but they were recommended to me. So, I have no doubt they’ll be good. The owner of that company (Paul) is very easy to talk to and will be happy to make recommendations if you email him. I’d definitely get some Super Dense in your order. Maybe some White Moscow Auto, some Northern Lights Auto and some Berry Ryder autos.

You can’t go wrong with Fast Buds seeds’ Green Crack Auto as @blackthumbbetty recommended. I’ve never heard any complaints about their genetics. I’m going to pop some Green crack autos soon and I’ll bet you’d do well with their Gorrilla Glue Auto, if you want high THC with sticky buds or their Northern Lights Auto or LSD-25 Auto. Ms Betty has grown a bunch of them. Maybe she’ll share some strain recommendations; or you can go check out her grow journal to see. The is a great grower and an incredibly funny lady - her comments will make you smile even on the worst days. Lol!

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Oh, wow! Thanks for that! :grinning: I’m working on becoming a great grower. It’s an ongoing process.

I grew an lsd-25. Very easy, very stinky, very purple/black buds. Supposed to be mostly indica, but I harvested early, so it’s more of an intense, almost immediate punch to the front of your brain.

The Tangiematic…so covered in trichs, it looked like it was rolled in powdered sugar. A very happy, mostly sativa high. Thick, huge, dense buds. Does not like stress, at all; even overwatering caused her to stunt, a bit.

I didn’t care for the Gorilla Glue, myself. Great high, dense huge nugs, but the flavor was kind of blah. I didn’t order it, but got it as a freebie.

The Pineapple Express grew into a monster. Very easy to care for it. Delicious smell/taste. Won’t put you down for the day. I use this to mix with the Gorilla Glue.

I tried growing a 6Shooter, too. Something happened somewhere along the grow, and she ended up not being very productive. I plan on trying again, b/c the nugs were extremely hard & dense, and I know there’s good potential for it.

I also tried a strain from Female seeds: White Widow X Big Bud. Absolutely one of the most intriguing tasting strains I’ve ever tasted. Grew big. Was a bit sensitive to overfeeding, but a bit of nute burn never caused it any issues.

This season, I have 7 different indoor auto strains started. I chose ones that were best for anxiety, depression, low energy, and creativity. I should choose ones focused on pain relief, but my brain needs medicine just as badly as my body.

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Y’all are great and I’m so glad I found this group. As for THC and CBD levels I have absolutely no idea. I am just learning about the different strains. Heck when I was younger a bag of weed was a bag of weed. There wasn’t a choice but I can say I still remember what smelled good and what didn’t. I just know that several years ago I stumbled onto an old friend and we lit one. Well my back pain wasn’t an issue and I probably slept like a baby. I’ll be making an order within the next few days.

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Just be careful if using organic seedling mix,thought I’d invested the coin in a no brainer (no ferts just stated everything a seedling needs) but killed two Blueberry auto seeds,all I could put it down to was a very small fertiliser ball next to tap root with seed intact,five others doing very well so I will be spreading soil and removing fertiliser before packing peat moss seed pots in future.

@Fabes - that’s an excellent point!! That FFOF is way too hot for popping seeds and I forgot to mention that I use something like FoxFarm Light Warrior for my germinated seeds or my seeds that are already in Root Riot plugs. Thanks for posting that!

@Lightbender - seedlings don’t need any food for the first couple of weeks. So, giving them nutes, even those contained in soil, can stunt them and even kill them. Thinking back to your original post…you put some super high phosphorus fertilizer in with your seeds. That is a possible cause of the stunting you experienced. Many people germinate in plugs like the Root Riot plugs I use or rock wool and these things don’t have any nutrient value at all. Neither does that FF Light Warrior medium I mentioned. You can fill your pot with a good warm soil like FFOF but make a core of zero nutrient medium at the top center for your baby seedlings. That way they can grow without nutes for a bit and work their way to the nutrient rich soil as they get a week or two old. What I’ll do is fill my pot and then dig a hole that I can get a solo cup into and fill in all around the cup. Twist the cup a couple of times and carefully pull it out, leaving a perfect hole/dimple the size of that solo cup. Then, fill that hole with a solo cup worth of your mute-free medium and plant your germinated seed.

I DO introduce some mycorrhizae into my plugs and to the taproots of my popped seeds. That does wonders to give them a jump start with root growth. I put seeds in distilled water with hydrogen peroxide for 1-2 days, until I see them crack and a tiny tap root begin to protrude. Then, I put them into moist paper towel between 2 paper towels until the taproot is ~3/4” long. Next I take a Root Riot plugs and I push a piece of clothes hanger wire through, from top to bottom, to clear and easy path for the taproot. I put a small amount of (Great White) mycorrhizae on a plate and, using tweezers, I lay the seed in the powder so that the Root gets a good coating of myco. Sometimes you need to wet the root to get the myco to adhere. Then, carefully fish the root down into the hole in your plug until the seed itself is 1/2” below the surface. I have a popsicle stick I whittled down and has a line drawn so that I know exactly where 1/2” is; and I use it to push the seed below the surface, whether it’s a plug or just medium in a pot. Be DELICATE with that tap root. Cover the seed with a TINY bit of soil so that she’s nice and tucked in without light. Make sure there’s no perlite or sticks (from compost) above her to obstruct her push upwards. Put them in a germination tray or somehow make a humidity tent to keep things moist and humid. I use a heating mat that has a thermostat to keep my water (for initial pop) and my plugs at 82° but you can also set them on top of something like a cable box, DVD player, stereo, etc. The warmth really helps. Just don’t let them get too hot - 85° is about as warm as you’ll want to get. AS SOON as they emerge, I remove them from humidity tent, put them in one of those “instatransplant” pots I described earlier and put them under a 6500k T5 fluorescent bulb. I run a gentle oscillating fan from day 1 because I like strong stems

Since I started this regimen I’ve had a 95%+ success rate on germination.

Hope this helps. Happy growing!


Looks like I need to make a shopping list for my next grow. I have some of the peat plugs and a heated mat. I also have some seed starting mix, I’ll check and make sure it’s nute free. I’ll check the temperature on my mat too before I try to rely on it. That’s a sensible method to get seeds going and I appreciate the info.
As I said earlier I’m glad I am practicing with cheapo seeds now.

Are these the plugs you referred to?

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Try searching “rapid rooter”.AC_SY400

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No sir. Here are the plugs I was referring to:

They’re essentially the same as the Rapid Rooter plugs that @blackthumbbetty posted. I got the Rapid rooters because they’re inoculated with Clonex and I got a free package of Clonex with each 50 plug bag. The Rapid Rooters are $5 cheaper, though. If you’re not going to clone or already have plenty of Clonex, just get the Rapid Rooter plugs. BOTH brands are available on Amazon w/Prime shipping. Just FYI

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If I use either of the plugs that you or blackthumbbetty mentioned should I still use the mycorrhizae? I’m going to make an order later today for supplies.
I appreciate your time helping me.

Oh I put a few pictures on the other day asking if anyone had seen leaves “sweat”.

I’m not worried because that plant is really kicking butt right now. Just transferred it to a bigger cloth pot. Spent some extra time sifting out bark and twigs which makes me look at the plants that aren’t doing good. Couldn’t believe just how much unusable stuff there was in the soil. The soil I ended up with after sifting felt like silk. Added about 25-30% perilite. Also what I ended up with didn’t clump when compressed. I really feel like I finally did something right or at least better.